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Hiking

Shorts in November

Last week we experienced unseasonably high temps in the midst of the monsoon, and it almost felt like summer. Sort of. It was warm enough to wear shorts in the mountains, and that is more than good enough for me.

All along the watchtower

Josie, Wellie and I took advantage of the weather window and hiked to Mount Pilchuck. I had been there once before, but we couldn’t really see much that time. Since it’s one of the most popular trails in the state, I figured it would be worth going back on a clearer day. I was right! (I’m never right!)

It was hard to leave that day

I distinctly remember thinking that this hike was really easy last year, so it was rather disheartening (though not totally shocking, given my activity level this past month and a half) to spend the whole hike up huffing and puffing like I was trying to blow the lookout down. I guess it’s hard for your blood to supply oxygen to your muscles when it’s 73% chocolate.*

Other than my lagging lardiness, the only problem we faced was getting Wellie up the ladder to the lookout. Last year JK took care of the pups, as evidenced in video – oh, how I miss Bobby! – but this time I got to carry Wellie up there myself. It might not look very difficult, but it definitely made this acrophobic’s heart beat a little faster.

Is this real life

Speaking of acrophobia, I want to brag about scrambling out on the boulders behind the lookout for this photo op. Even more shocking than the fact that I would even consider doing such a thing, was the realization that it didn’t really make me nervous. Success!

(Photo of Daredevil Ingunn and the following photo of Wellie licking my face courtesy of Josie.)

Italian Kisses *sniff sniff*

We ended up staying at the lookout for hours since the views were just too good to leave. It’s a pretty amazing payoff for such a short hike (and for being so close to civilization**). The crowds were thin by Pilchuckian standards, but still pretty impressive for a Thursday in November.

So thaaat's why it's so popular

As the sun started to set, we reluctantly climbed back down the ladder and hiked out, motivated by the veggie fajitas that awaited us in Granite Falls. Good night, Mount Pilchuck! I’m sure we’ll meet again.

Big thanks to Josie and Wellie for lightening my mood with this moste excellente outing.

Goodbye, Pilchuck

Mount Pilchuck | 5.4 miles | 2200 feet elevation gain

*I am drinking a green juice as we speak to rectify the situation.
**Depending on how you define Granite Falls.***
***Just kidding.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Ewa November 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    This is absolutely amazing! Gosh, I need my mountain fix soon.
    Now there is no way I could get on that ledge. You are brave.

  • Reply Ingunn November 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Ewa, it definitely looks worse in photos than it was in real life – when I got out there I was actually a little disappointed that the drop-off wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be… :o)

  • Reply Josie November 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I felt pretty safe in Granite considering the restaurant was filled with police officers!

  • Reply Ingunn November 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Those good-for-nothing cops didn’t prevent me from getting burn marks from my fajita platter!

  • Reply Laura November 11, 2010 at 6:43 am

    How beautiful! Now I’m even more motivated to travel to Washington. I have family in Mt Vernon, and we are hoping to make a trip out there in the near future to explore the Cascades and Olympic National Park. This looks a terrific stop to add to our trip itinerary.

  • Reply Ingunn November 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Laura, you’re going to love it! Mt Vernon is close to lots of great hiking in the Central and North Cascades :D

  • Reply Lauren November 13, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Absolutely breathtaking… love the 2nd photo in particular! And yeah for not being nervous! :)

  • Reply Patty O'Malley November 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I admire that you would go out on a boulder like that! I think I would freeze to the spot and not move!

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